SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — Jesuits in Honduras have demanded an investigation into the murder of a media worker affiliated with a pair of Jesuit nongovernmental organizations.
Carlos Mejia Orellana, 35, marketing director of the Jesuit’s Radio Progreso, was stabbed to death at this home in El Progreso, near the city of San Pedro Sula, April 11, despite there being an order of protection for him. Mejia also worked with the Jesuit nongovernmental group the Team for Reflection, Investigation and Communication.
“This is a direct blow, not only to our colleague and his family, but also a frontal blow to the work that we do as Radio Progreso and the Team for Reflection, Investigation and Communication,” Fr. Ismael Moreno, director of Radio Progreso, told an April 12 press conference.
“His murder is a demonstration of the failure of the security policies of the Honduran state and the lack of political will to adopt the protection measures established by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights,” said Joaquin Mejia, a member of both Jesuit organizations.
Mejia’s murder was a reminder of the dangers for those working in the media in Honduras, where impunity is rife and the murder rate tops more than 80 per 100,000 residents – highest in the hemisphere.
Radio Progreso has been critical of the economic, security and human rights situations in Honduras and opposed a June 2009 coup, which removed then-President Manuel Zelaya.
Fr. Moreno told The New York Times during the coup that Radio Progreso employees had received death threats.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ordered the Honduran government to provide protection to Moreno and 17 others at Radio Progreso after the coup. But Amnesty International noted in an April 17 statement, “The authorities have failed to investigate any of the multiple threats received by the Radio Progreso media workers to date or to provide them with effective protection measures.”